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. pretty cool, huh? >> and a little later what we can expect from first lady michelle obama in her second term. that and a christmas story that is bound to warm your heart. we begin with this live image from honolulu, hawaii where the president and first lady have just arrived. hundreds of hawaiians started gathering saturday to welcome the senator home and pay respects. inouye was a recipient for the medal of honor for his braver. kristen welker joins me now from honolulu. a warm christmas, i see. >> reporter: yes indeed. it is lovely here. >> the president is on christmas vacation and so is congress. that doesn't mean they don't have work to do as the fiscal cliff looms. i take it this is a working vacation. >> reporter: white house officials have described this as a working vacation and talks are going on behind the scenes between white house staffers and hill staffers. the reality is the bulk of this probably won't get done until after christmas when lawmakers are expected to resume negotiations. there is a lot of frustration especially among senior members in both parties in part bec
still think we can get it done. >> president obama is doing everything he can to avert a fiscal cliff disaster for the middle class. the republican implosion gives democrats even more leverage in the fiscal cliff negotiations. i'll ask dnc chairwoman debbie wasserman schultz, will this latest move by the president be enough? >>> revolting, tone-deaf, disastrous. the nra blames everything but guns for gun violence in america including 20-year-old video games, and they reverse an opportunity to heal the country for a commercial for more guns. >> the only thing that stops a bad guy with a gun is a good guy with a gun. >> congressman jim moran and reverend jesse jackson react to today's circus. >> this is the beginning of a serious conversation. we won't be taking questions. >>> reporting for duty. >> and john kerry biographer douglas brinkley on the senator's big nomination. >> good to have you with us tonight, folks. thanks for watching. it's home for the holidays with no deal. house speaker john boehner only has himself to blame. boehner's plan b gimmick failed big time last night at t
. christmas break is already over for president obama. he's flying back to washington tonight and aides say he's ready for a deal. it's not clear whether this trip is a sign of compromises to come or another display of theater showing the president is willing to work even as his opponents skip town. meanwhile, though, americans are growing skeptical. in the last week alone, gallup found a 15-point drop in the number of americans who think congress will negotiate a deal on the fiscal cliff. that's not all, holiday spending also hit its lowest rate since the 2008 recession, which retailers are blaming on the uncertainty in washington. so where do we go from here? well, since the house failed to get a vote on the tax package last week, all eyes are on the senate. a temporary deal that would basically extend all the tax cuts for those making under a quarter million. the deal would also rescue long-term unemployment benefits and instead of addressing those automatic spending cuts we've all heard about that are set for january 1st, this temporary deal would delay them for another six months. few are
hanger. president obama calls on congress to act after christmas on a scaled down deal that would spare the middle class from tax hikes on the first of the year. >> we've heard plenty of people calling for new gun control laws, but very little from the national rifle association until now. in a bizarre news conference that was interrupted twice by protesters, the head of the nra. it's the same line we've heard before from the nra, but has the country's relationship with guns fundamentally changed since newtown? and what we saw last night from house republicans is yet another symptom of the real problem for the gop. they don't believe in compromise. and they've lurched too far to the right. we begin with where things stand on the fiscal cliff, msnbc political analyst and msnbc contributor jared bernstein. jentle men, president obama tonight said he had spoken with speaker boehner in addition to senate majority leader harry reed. >> i just spoke to speaker boehner and i also met with senator reed. in the next few days, i've asked leaders of congress to work towards a package that prevents
that democrats are terrible because they took $716 billion from medicare for obama care and what do we want to do? pocket the cuts and add more. our chief demand is entitlement cuts. medicare and social security. >> talk about the debt ceiling and where this is played in to this conversation. that is coming up in february or supposed to come up in february. john boehner made the offer to take it off the table for a year but i want to show what lindsey graham has to say over the weekend on "meet the press." >> the big chance for a big deal is that the debt ceiling. that's when we'll have leverage to turn the country around, prevent it from becoming greece and save social security and medicare and to anybody listening to this program, i'll raise the debt ceiling only if we save medicare and social security from insolvency and prevent this country from becoming greece. >> prevent this country from becoming greece. what is your reaction to that? >> absolute and utter nonsense. this country is not becoming greece. this country -- this country, frankly, has a big unemployment problem. we have a deficit
when president obama calls mitch mcconnell, bring the republican leader in the process. what happens now is very important. as sam said, they'll be negotiating today and over the weekend in the senate. and if this $250,000 comes to the floor, if a few republicans attach themselves to what reid and obama agree to, then that means when it pose gophers to the house it has a much better chance of attracting republican support. if mitch mcconnell aligns republicans and tells everyone to oppose it in the senate republican conference, the chances of it succeeding in the house are pretty low. >> sam, is this the end of the road for grover norquist and his pledge? >> it's odd because grover was the one sort of outside government institution on the conservative side who agreed with speaker boehner's plan "b" which would have allowed taxes to go up above $1 million in income. all the other conservative groups say no. i think grover's pledge, i don't know where it goes from here. obviously is doesn't have as much teeth as is it did because there are people who are willing to buck it. >> i think
. welcome to this special edition of "m schsnb"msnbc." as for president obama and john boehner, they are miles apart. neither are them talking about the deal the country really needs. kristin, we were talking yesterday that there's a possibility the president was considering coming back early perhaps thshould they strike a deal of some sort. >> i think it's likely president obama will cut his vacation short. we haven't gotten guidance about when that is going to happen. the white house is calling this a working vacation, but the reality is that talks are largely deadlocked over the fiscal cliff. there have been a few conversations going on at the staff level but really the expectation is that the hard work is going to get done when lawmakers return to washington after the christmas holiday, a little bit later on this week. that's when they're going to resume negotiations in earnest. of course there had been hopes that the president and house speaker john boehner were going to get a deal done. if you looked at the beginning of last week, they were getting close to a deal it appe
. >> are these red line warnings talk? >> cnn projects that barack obama will be re-elected president of the united states. >>> terror at an elementary school in connecticut. >> 20 children dead, six adults are also dead. >> so our hearts are broken today. for the parents and grandparents, sisters and brothers of these little children. may god bless the memory of the victims. >> thanks so much for starting your morning with us. we've got much more ahead on cnn's saturday morning which starts right now. >>> good morning, everyone. i'm randi kaye. it is 7:00 on the east coast, 4:00 a.m. out west, thanks for starting your day with us. victor blackwell is on assignment. >>> we start with the big countdown, ten days left for the white house and congress to reach an agreement on the fiscal cliff where millions of americans will be paying the price in their paychecks. but congress is now on holiday recess. and president obama is in hawaii. let's go straight to cnn's emily schmidt in washington. good morning. so before he left the capitoal, he laid out this three-point plan to washington. >> before he left
journal" is next. ♪ host: good morning , president obama is in hawaii this weekend for the christmas holiday with his family. he will join a congressional delegation later today led by harry reid in services in holland -- in honolulu for late senator daniel inouye passed away last week that congress will return monday to continue fiscal negotiations. we will look at the options ahead for the president as the january deadline looms but we want to begin with your comments on another debate front and center in washington following the tragic shooting in newtown, conn. -- that is gun-control. "the washington post" said a bitter fight ahead. the numbers are on your screen. we look at some of the headlines on the sunday morning beginning with "the connecticut post." - you can see the flag remaining at half staff outside one of the churches in newtown, conn. following the burial of 20 children and six women killed about a week and a half ago. this is from the front page of today's "new york daily news." finally, from the front page is this report about what is ahead in terms of the gun cont
. >>> the physicianel california divten days away. president obama and house speaker john boehner thousands of miles away from each other. both men left washington for the holidays. president obama and family are in his native hawaii for a short christmas break. we'll have a live report from hawaii and the latest on the fiscal cliff talks a few minutes as well. >>> it's official. bp oil company will pay up to the tune of $7.8 billion. that is a class action settlement amount they agreed to pay, about 100,000 businesses and individuals hurt by the biggest oil spill in american history. a federal judge formized the settlement yesterday. a lot of gulf coast residents opted out of the class action suit and are pursuing lawsuits on their own. >>> in egypt today, more effects of a brand-new government's growing pains. the vice president is out. he is stepping down there. this man, mahmud mechanicy announced political life does not agree with him, and he'll go back to being a judge. it's the same day the egyptian people are voting for a second straight weekend on proposed changes to the country new islamis
, mika, and that, of course, barack obama wins, the republicans lose, in a way that perhaps is more telling than just what one election result might suggest. >> well, i think it certainly does and it gives him a certain platform and credibility that perhaps he didn't have before. but watching as these fiscal cliff negotiations have gone through the holidays, it certainly is perhaps a little bit more of a bully pulpit for the president and for his position on taxes. but i think the biggest story of the year came at the end of the year in the past week or so which is the massacre at sandy hook elementary school in newtown and i think the presidency now might be shaped by those events and those are the stories that both barnicle and andrea have chose n as the top story. would you agree this could be a signature for the second term? >> i to do. i do agree with that. i think the events of a few days ago in newtown, connecticut, will help shape a good portion of the president's second and final term in office. i think it gives us a huge impe it tus to changes in this country that had had
>> well, i think obviously barack obama will be an enormous influence on american life and the world in general, depending on what he does in his next two years in the presidency or perhaps the next six years, depending on what happens to the economy in this country. >> all right. well, that's all the time we have here. thank you so much. willie geist, mike barnicle, thanks for watching our special, "the most." it was a lot of fun. >> yeah, it was. >> even if george bush was on the list. i thought you behaved yourself very well. all right. >> yeah. >> well, thank you so much for being with us. >>> merry cliffmas. let's play hardball. >>> good evening. i'm michael smerconish in for chris matthews. leading off tonight, fiscal cliff hanger, president obama calls on congress to act after christmas on a scale-down deal that would spare the middle class from tax hikes on the first of the year. the president met with harry reid and spoke with john boehner. is a grand bargain still possible when everyone is leaving town? >> a week from the shooting massacre that left 20 childre
maggard with president obama. the kiss of death for tennessee republicans. flyers, newspaper ads. internet videos. >> both say they support our second amendment rights but they both worked against our freedoms behind closed doors. >> they prey on your fears and they know most people won't have the courage to stand up to them. >> reporter: but deborah maggard did and paid the price. she lost her race to the nra backed challenger. that's the way the nra has long operated, striking fear into the hearts of republicans and democrats alike. in this year's presidential campaign, republicans fell all over themselves to curry favor from the organization. >> it's great to be here with so many friends of the national rifle association. >> reporter: but is it different this time? >> everyone in this country at one time or another has loved a 6-year-old or a 7-year-old. and i think the nra for once, i think everybody is paying attention to how they operate. they have stifled meaningful discussion by using fear and intimidation tactics to keep people from saying the things that maybe need to be said. >>
. and by contributions to your pbs station from viewers like you. thank you. >> brown: the remaking of the obama administration's foreign policy team began today as the president nominated massachusetts senator john kerry to replace hilary clinton as secretary of state. the former presidential candidate who lost to george w. bush in 2004 got the nod after u.n. ambassador susan rice withdrew her name. she'd faced republican criticisms over the benghazi terrorist attack. president obama made the announcement this afternoon at the white house. >> i am very proud to announce my choice for america's next secretary of state, john kerry. in a sense, john's entire life has prepared him for this role. having served with valor in vietnam, he understands that we have a responsibility to use american power wisely, especially our military power. and he knows, from personal experience, that when we send our troops into harm's way, we must give them the sound strategy, a clear mission, and the resources that they need to get the job done. in an extraordinarily distinguished senate career and as chairman of the
's taking questions. first, president obama and speaker boehner are home for the holidays. bah humbug, fiscal cliff. good morning. i'm joy reed in today for melissa harris-perry. this week, every member of commerce had something in common. they lost one of their own. senator daniel inouye passed away. he was a senior member serving his home state of hawaii for half a century. members of congress stood shoulder-to-shoulder at the memorial thursday bowing their heads to honor their colleague as he lay in the capital rotunda. friday, they came together for a somber recollection of a man who represented an era long gone. president obama delivered the eulogy remembering the senator's key role in the investigation of the watergate scandal. >> as i watched those hearings watching him ask those piercing questions night after night, i learned how our democracy was supposed to work. our government of and by and for the people. we have a system of government where nobody is above the law. where we have an obligation to hold each other accountable. >> president obama was not only honoring a publi
in on this. >> is "zero dark 30" or did the filmmakers get a bit too cozy with the obama administration? i'm howard kurtz and this is "reliable sources." >>> it was billed as a press conference, but it was anything but. wayne lapierre took no argument. he called for armed guards in school and ripped the media for reporting misinformation and failing to nail the real culprits. >> in a race to the bottom, media conglomerates compete with one another to shock, violate and offend every standard of civilized society. by bringing in an even more toxic mix of reckless behavior and criminal cruelty right into our homes. >> so, is there any validity to these bombastic charges against the press. joining us now here in washington, terence smith, former correspondent for pbs news hour and cbs news and "new york times." and tom foreman who attended friday's nra event. tom, what was it like being at this nra event? i won't call it a press conference. are you surprised that not a single journalist got to ask a question? >> it was not a press conference. all of us expected to exchange questions and answer
. but they did figure out how to fake symbolically repeal obama care 33 separate times. it didn't mean anything, but when there were things that didn't mean anything that were just symbolic, ultimately they figured out that they could get some of that stuff done. but when things really did matter, like in the debt ceiling standoff, when the republicans decided to block something they happily voted for dozens of times under republican presidents, they did end up having to vote to raise the debt ceiling, but not before they pushed the fight so far and so late that the nation's bond rating got downgraded explicitly because of the breakdown in basic governing capacity in washington. and the length and the ferocity and the pointlessness of that fight -- this to job growth for the term of that fight. not good. the "john boehner is bad at his job" hypothesis is by now a pretty well-founded hypothesis. that was the case even before mr. boehner's republican caucus just imploded last night and gave up and went home and asked the democrats to instead see if there is something maybe they instead can do at
captioning sponsored by macneil/lehrer productions >> woodruff: president obama tapped senator john kerry today to replace outgoing secretary of state hillary clinton. good evening. i'm judy woodruff. >> brown: and i'm jeffrey brown. on the newshour tonight, we look at this first cabinet change for the president's second term with david ignatius of the "washington post" and journalist and author james mann. >> woodruff: then, we turn back to the tragedy in newtown, connecticut, as more victims are laid to rest one week after the shootings. >> brown: speaking out for the first time since the massacre, the nra's wayne lapierre rejects calls for new limits on guns. >> i asked congress today to act immediately to appropriate whatever is necessary to put armed police officers in every single school in this nation. >> woodruff: and ray suarez talks to mark glaze, director of the pro-gun control advocacy group mayors against illegal guns. >> brown: plus, we hear from high school students from across the country, and gwen ifill talks with secretary of education arne duncan. >> schools have
mean is that the kind of new regulation of guns that president obama and vice president biden and a lot people like to see enacted early next year won't happen easily. it's a battle. the president and vice president are ready to lead the fight. it's going to take the american people getting organized, agitated, and talking to their members of congress. >> do you think the nra still has the clout it once did? they have several times been able to rally their folks on capitol hill to vote against extension of the gun ban, things like that. >> we'll see. i think this situation is different than the other acts of mass violence, columbine, aurora and virginia tech, because here those 20 beautiful innocent children, slaughtered and hit multiple times with bullets from that assault weapon. so we' see, but i tell you this. the strength of the nra is more than half of the adults in america have guns, own guns and have them in their homes. we have to convince them that none of the proposals will take their guns away. the proposals will make it harder, hopefully impossible for people to buy assault
a deal struck in the next 50 hours or so? >> i think the mood is the same. you heard president obama say on friday that he is modestly optimist optimistic, which suggests he is not completely optimistic. i am told that staffers have been in contact with the staffers on the hill. they are monitoring the negotiations and as you heard luke said, that matches the reporting that i've been doing, there's not the same level of confidence coming out of the hill that we saw yesterday when congressional leaders left the white house. for president obama's part, he is using his bully pulpit to try pressure lawmakers to act. he sat down with david gregory today, and that will appear on "meet the press" tomorrow. he came out with certain words for lawmakers in terms of getting something done before the all important january 1st deadline. take a listen. >> the american people are watching what we do here. obviously their patience is already thin. this is deja vu all over again. america wonders why it is that in this town for some reason, you can't get something done in an organized timetable. why every
that every obama has tried to do. it's really over a tax increase, and for what? it's really to stop primary challenges. that's what this is all about. i mean, it's really bringing the country to a standstill for their own political short term. >> "new york times" is talking about the urgency issue in all of this, and lacking urgency that we have witnessed. they say, yeah, with days left before the fiscal punch lands, both sides are exhibiting little sense of urgency. rather than to foster progress. perry is that the biggest thing, the primaries moving out of this and how everything looks back? >> i think there are two things going on. the first is democrats generally feel they won a man dade. they're not backing down -- the second thing is the primary issue. you have members of congress say last week there was a proposal to raise taxes, and a lot of republicans said i can't vote for that, a million only tax increase. they were worried about primaries. that's driving this in a very strong way. >>> there are people in washington, d.c. that will tell us this is how it all happens. congressman
summer connish in for chris matthews. president obama calls for congress to act on a scaled down deal that would spare the middle class on tax hikes from the first of the year. he spoke with john boehner tonight but is grand bargain still possible when everybody is leaving town. then in the weeks since the shooting massacre in a town that left hand 20 children and six educators dead, we've been hearing for plenty calling for new gun control laws but little from the nra until now. in a bizarre meeting, the head of the nra said the solution to gun vie lerchs in this country is simple. more guns. armed officers, in fact, in every school. it's the same line we've heard from nra, but has the country's relationship with guns fundamentally changed since newtown? and what we saw is yet another symptom of a real problem for the gop. they don't believe in compromise and they've lurched too far to the right. >>> plus replacing hillary clinton, john kerry gets the job he's waited for his whole life. president obama tapped john kerry as the next secretary of state. >>> and let me finish with the n
, welcome to "weekends with alex witt." what is happening out there. ten days and counting. president obama and house speaker boehner left washington without reaching a deal on the fiscal cliff. before heading to hawaii, president obama said he met individually with leaders of the house and senate, asking them to work toward a package that prevents a tax hike on middle class americans. >> this is something within our capacity to solve. it doesn't take that much work. we just have to do the right thing. so call me a hopeless optimist, but i still think we can get it done. >> earlier in the day, speaker boehner held a news conference. a vote on his so-called plan "b" was scrapped thursday night when it became clear it did not have enough support among house republicans to secure passage. >> a situation where because of the political divide in the country, because of the divide here in washington, trying to bridge these differences has been difficult. if it were easy, i'll guarantee you this would have been done decades before. >> joining me now, congressional reporter for "the washington post
cliff, president obama makes a new proposal to congress. one week after the deadly school shooting in newtown, connecticut, communities across the nation and around the world pay tribute to the victims. and the national rifle association speaks out for the first time since the attack. it proposes a controrsial plan to prevent similar mass shootings. let's go out front. >>> good evening, everybody. i am soledad o'brien in for erin burnett tonight. out front this evening, lowering expectations, just ten days until we fall off the fiscal cliff and no deal in site. tonight president obama urged congress to broker a scaled down deal. >> i just speak to speaker boehner, and i also met with senator reid. in the next few days a asked leaders of congress to work towards a package that prevents a tax hike on middle class americans, protects unemployment insurance for 2 million americans and lays the groundwork for further work on both growth and deficit reduction. that's an achievable goal. that can get done in ten days. >> yesterday the house speaker john boehner failed to garner enough sup
from a fiscal cliff deal? how far? president obama said he and house speaker john boehner talked yesterday, it was their first conversation since monday, when the two sides offered up concessions on tax hikes for the wealthy, the president offered lower tax rates for people earning up $400,000 a year, and for computing entitled benefits. in his weekly address, boehner stood firm, his message for the president, the ball is in your court. >> the president and senate democrats have vowed to reject and veto all of our proposals and failing to offer responsible solutions of their own. when the president has offered so far will not do anything to solve our spending problem and address the crippling debt. and he refuses to challenge the members of his party to deal honestly with the entitlement reform and the big issues that are facing our nation. that is why we finds orz oursel here today. >> the president's christmas break in hawaii may be quick, he is planning to return to washington right after christmas, briana, live in hawaii, i'm wondering, we are talking about the fiscal cliff t
debate. president obama and his family are vacationing in hawaii and congress is on holiday recess. both sides are holding out hope that they will be able to reach a deal. >> this is something within our capacity to solve. it does not take this much work. we just have to do the right thing. >> of course, hope springs eternal and i know we have it in us to come together and do the right thing. >> listen to that, and it seems like they are both positive and feel something can get done. while both sides are away, the away and president in hawaii, can they get something done? >> reporter: well, look, richard, this will be a working vacation for president obama and i can also tell you that staffers on both sides of pennsylvania avenue will be in talks over the next several days despite the fact that they are technically on vacation. will they be able to get manage done that is significant over the next several days? probably not. but of course, lawmakers will head back to d.c. after the christmas holiday and resume negotiations again, and i expect we will see president obama cut his vacation
regulation of guns that president obama and vice president biden and a lot people would like to see enacted early next year, is not going to happen easily. it's going to be a battle. but the president and i think the vice president are ready to lead the fight. it's going to take the american people getting organized, agitated, and talking to their members of congress. >> do you think the nra still has the clout it once did? they have several times been able to rally their folks on capitol hill to vote against extension of the gun ban, things like that. >> we'll see. i mean, i think this situation is different than the other acts of mass violence, columbine, aurora, virginia tech, because here, you know, those 20 beautiful innocent and cause the loopholes to make sure the people who are in in his term "bad guys" don't have the opportunity to buy guns. >> the number of households that own a gun has gone down a bit, but there are a lot of guns out there. i want to read you actually on another part of this argument, and that is about the culture and about these video games. we now at least beli
of the other stories we're watching this morning. senator john kerry is in line for a new job. president obama officially nominated kerry to be the next secretary of state. he's currently the chairman of the senate foreign relations committee. secretary of state hillary clinton has said she wanted to leave the job after president obama's first term. >>> three people have been arrested in connection with a deadly house explosion in indianapolis. blast in early november killed two people. police arrested the victim's neighbors who lived in the blown up home and one other person there charged with murder and arson. >>> the lack of a fiscal cliff deal led the stock market to take a big hit on friday. you see it there, the dow was down nearly 121 points for the day. but in the end, all three key indices actually ended up slightly for the week. >>> now, there are just ten days left to salvage a deal on the fiscal cliff where you, i, and everyone else will be paying much higher taxes. president obama is challenging congress to get it done. >> in ten days we face a deadline. in ten days under current
, they're not there. lawmakers have gone home for the holiday recess. and president obama and the first family arrived in hawaii just a short time ago. the president and lawmakers are expected to return thursday after the christmas break. before leaving washington, mr. obama and house speaker john boehner both expressed hope that a deal will actually get done. >> we can't cut our way to prosperity. we need real economic growth. many of us believe on both sides of the aisle that the fundamental reform of our tax code will help us get our economy moving faster and put more americans back to work. and more americans on -- how we get there, god only knows. >> i asked for a compromise from members of congress, i met them more than halfway on spending and met them halfway on taxes. in terms of actual dollar amounts, we're not that far apart. as of today, i am still ready and willing to get a comprehensive package done. >> but time is running out. to reach an agreement, there are now just ten days left until automatic tax hikes and spending cuts do take effect. the s&p 500 and the nasdaq finis
with president obama on one point. concern about violence in popular culture. video games, movies and news music. the nra is one of the most feared and effective lobby groups in the nation. now signs of shifting public opinion and renewed calls for gun restrictions in congress and state legislatures present the organization with its biggest test yet. >> thanks so much, pete. >>> more now on the gun debate in and the fiscal cliff. joining me is congresswoman diana of colorado. welcome to you, glad to have you join us. >> good morning, alex. >> the nra says the answer to gun attacks is putting police with guns in the schools. you are from colorado and you knee did not work in the columbine attack because there were armed guards will, right? >> right. alex, columbine is in my congressional district and i was in congress when columbine happened. they had would armed guards there. many of the schools already have armed guards. you know, just saying we need to make bigger fortresses of our elementary schools is really an unbelievable and shocking answer to the issue of these assault weapons and these
budgets and can't get one vote for any of them. boehner will be tip o'neill, obama needs to be reagan. i would vote for revenues including tax rate hikes, even though i don't like them, to stave country from becoming greece. >> today, despite the president being in hawaii, the fiscal cliff is still on the agenda. kristen welker is with the president in honolulu. good day to you, kristen. what are you hearing there? >> reporter: alex, good morning to you. white house officials say this is very much a working vacation, no word if president obama has actually spoke on the congressional leaders at this point. i can tell you that conversations are going on at the staff level. but the reality is that the hard work, the final touches probably won't be put on these bills or this bill, rather, that they're hoping to get until lawmakers, the president, return to washington. and of course that won't happen until after the christmas holiday. this has a lot of people worried, alex, because as you say there's not a lot of time left to get a deal done. president obama, house speaker john boehner, were
spiriva. >>> yesterday president obama nominated senator john kerry for secretary of state putting into place the first new member of his new national security team for the second term. kerry will be the first bit of smooth sailing for the administration nomination-wise after susan rice and more recently chuck haguele. who was leaked by the white house as a possible nominee for secretary of defense and now subjected to fierce prenomination attacks from conservative columnists, anonymous republican staffers to name a few. they want to take down hagel in a statement saying, quote, send us hagel and we will make sure every american knows he's an anti-semite. much of the campaign focused against him is on his jewish lobby during a 2008 interview with former peace negotiator aaron david miller who joins us in a moment. >> the political reality is that you intimidate a lot, not you, but the jewish lobby intimidates a lot of people up here. and, yeah, i've always argued against some of the dumb things they do because i don't think it's in the interest of israel, i just don't think it's sm
attending a memorial service this weekend, president obama today enjoyed round of golf. the r&r in hawaii is not likely to last. with aides saying the president is expected to fly back to washington as early as wednesday. with hopes of a last-minute budget deal fading fast. >> it's the first time that i feel it's more likely that we will go over the cliff than not. if we allow that to happen, it will be, the most colossal consequencial act of congressional irresponsibility. >> republicans continue to insist the president wants to go off the cliff for political purposes. >> i think he sees a political victory at the bottom of the cliff. he gets the additional tax revenue for new programs and he gets to cut the mill their, that democrats have been calling for and he gets to blame republicans for it. >> top allies note he has tried to get a deal for weeks and says the real problem that republicans won't admit that obama won the election. >> on taxes, i know it's hard for republicans but the president ran on the platform. 250. no tax increase for people below but taxes for people above. he wo
rolls on? >> reporter: well, miquel, it's hard to believe that president obama would not at some point come back to washington it is not officially on his calendar at this point but he has obviously come out here for christmas break while congress is away from washington as well and it is, of course, a little bit of a working vacation for him, as the white house tries to work something out with senate democrats, some sort of package to avoid these tax hikes for middle class americans here tend of the year. that's something, of course that will require some buy-in from senate republicans to pass. and it seems that unlikely that senate minority leader mitch mcconnell would want to negotiating? that he doesn't feel will be able to also pass the house, which would require the support of some house republicans and that's part of the reason why this is such a difficult task and it has really been thrown into question whether or not the country is going over the fiscal cliff. the senate will reconvene, it is on xenlg actual reconvene september 27th that is on thursday. and i think the expecta
will plunge the economy back into recession. president obama flies back from hawaii tonight to be ready if the senate comes back with a plan when it returns to work tomorrow. and house leaders are huddling with members on stand-by to return. senior congressional correspondent dana bash is following all of it for us. what are you hearing? >> there was a conference call of course members of the house leadership even, they're back in their districts, but there was a conference call today among those house republican leaders trying to figure out if and when the house should come back into session. two republican sources tell me they did not make a decision on this call. it's still up in the air. and a big reason for that is if anything can get done in the next six days, the ball is in the senate's court. the capitol is a ghost town. neither chamber in session. an eerie calm since the fiscal cliff only congress has the power to avert is less than one week away. from their home, senate democratic leaders is trying to figure out if the president's scaled back bill can pass congress at the 11th
john boehner, his plan b went bust. before leaving town president obama urged congress to pass a mini-plan that would preserve middle class tax rates. the president is now in his native hawaii for a quick christmas break. briana keiller joins us from honolulu. hello, briana. is this fiscal cliff deadline getting closer, what do we think will happen as the holidays rolls out here? >> reporter: well, there's one sort of last ditch effort possibility here, don, and that is when the senate reconvenes on the 27th, it's possible that either they could try to pass something and sort of force it on the house or it's possible that they could take a bill that they've already passed back in july with the threshold of those tax hikes being at the $250,000 level and that they could kind of say to the house, okay, now the ball is in your court. you have to deal with this, but it's still very much a possibility, don, that this doesn't work out, that we go over the fiscal cliff, and that was reflected today on the sunday shows from both democrats and republicans. take a listen. >> passing plan b, the
and the january deadline now just ten days away. president obama and his family are vacationing in hawaii and congress is on holiday recess after no new breakthrough and both sides are holding out and they'll be able to reach a deal. >> call me a hopeless optimist, but i actually still think we can get it done. >> of course, hope springs eternal and i know we have it in us to come together and to do the right thing. >> nbc's kristin welker is in hawaii and the president is still in talks while he's there or are the the talks on hiatus? >> richard, my sources tell me this is very much a working vacation for president obama and at this time there's no conversation between the president and congressional leaders and that doesn't mean that they're not going to happen. back in washington, d.c., staffers at the white house and on the hill are still there to some extent, communicating with each other and talking with each other, trying to get a deal going. it seemed earlier this week, richard, as though president obama and john boehner were getting close to some sort of a deal, a deal that would
thou,000 a year. the bush tax cut will expire at the end of this year. obama was elected with a surplus of about three million votes. he won the election. he campaigned on this issue. again, the speaker can't take yes for an answer. the president has presented to him something that would prevent us from going over the cliff. it was response to something that the speaker gave them himself but i guess with the dysfunctional republican caucus in the house, even the speaker can't tell what they are going to do because he backed off even his own proposal. the house, we hear so often, is controlled by the republicans. and we acknowledge that. i would be most happy to move forward on something that senator mcconnell said they wouldn't filibuster over here that he would support and that boehner would support if it were reasonable. but right now we haven't heard anything. i don't know and it's none of my business, i guess, although i am very curious, if the speaker and the majority leader, the republican leader over here are even talking. i mean, what's going on here? mr. president, you can't le
, and officially president obama is supposed to be remaining here in hawaii through the new year, it seems likely he will be heading back to washington sometimes around when the senate convenes. and in the meantime, just up in the air about what is going to happen. is it going to be a very unmerry cliff-mass? perhaps. >> i feel like we should pause and listen to the best sound in the world behind you. the waves crashing on the beach. >> pretty good. thanks. >>> dana, as you know, the fiscal cliff crisis is bringing out the creative side of the "usa today" editorial board. >> with the president and congress on holiday break, the newspaper's editors decide a holiday poem was in in order. >> we decided it would be a great idea to read some of for you. >> twaz the night before cliff-mas, when all through d.c., not a politician was stirring, they'd decided to flee. their work was not finished but they did not care. the fiscal cliff looming they took to the air, voters watched this debacle with dressing dressed while visions of total victory dances in polls head. >> democrats balked at a tight spending
somewhat but not so much now -- this time with obama. the reason why i say it does a little bit, you have to have a conscience when you deal with anything. especially when you make decisions for other people than yourself, you have to have a conscience. what i found very strange about the questions that have been calling into the show lately, they all keep trying to fault one person for the people since. i don't believe in abortion but i am pro-choice because it is not my choice to condemn anybody for doing a sin to themselves. god will judge them. i should never put my beliefs on somebody else and then judge of them. host: you said that religion is affecting your political decisions less lately and you said what their reelection of president obama. can you explain that a little bit more? caller: say it again? host: you said earlier religion is impacting your political decisions less this time around. why is that? caller: not less -- i said now that what is happening is people are judging our presidents on the laws and things he may or may not agree with -- he may not, i do not know which
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